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Engineering 360°

Barnwood Builders

Group of men working on barn project.

Photos by Persinger

Safety management alumnus Mark Bowe will be the first to tell you he is passionate about heritage and history, something he and his team strive to preserve as they travel the country honoring pioneer-era craftsmanship on the popular DIY network show, “Barnwood Builders.” He also will tell you that he is equally passionate about his alma mater and that he relishes in the opportunity to give back to the place that provided him with the drive and skills to succeed. 

When approached about using those skills and that passion to enhance cultural opportunities for visitors at WVU Jackson’s Mill, Bowe jumped at the opportunity. 

His team constructed a timber frame structure, made of 350-year-old wood, offsite at the company’s “Boneyard” and transported the building in pieces to the site at WVU Jackson’s Mill. A team from Jackson’s Mill coordinated the site prep work, and Bowe and his crew instructed the WVU team – using tools and techniques from pioneer days – on completing the necessary construction, raising the structure and putting on the finishing touches. 

The group worked for three days to build the 16-by-20-foot structure, which will be used as a craft education center where visitors will learn about Appalachian heritage. The building also will serve as a home for Appalachian artisans who want to showcase their work and teach others about their craft.